Food Production for Urban Landscapes

Subject HORT90038 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Burnley - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 4 hours of weekly classes = 48 hours total
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours. This subject runs in Semester One at the Burnley Campus in Richmond. It comprises lectures, a practical crop plot program in the Burnley Field Station (including several propagation sessions in the nursery) and field visits.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison email:


Dr Chris Williams


Subject Overview:

In this subject you will learn about the history of urban agriculture in countries around the world and explore the various roles of urban agriculture in modern-day cities. Given the nature of the subject, a wide diversity of topics will be covered including but not limited to: plant growth requirements, agricultural inputs (such as water and nutrients), soil contamination, pests and diseases, urban-specific production methods, design and management of community gardens and edible landscapes, mainstream and alternative crops (fruit and vegetables), agro-ecology principles and practices ; and the economic value of residential food gardens. You will be required to implement and maintain an allocated crop plot in the Burnley Field Station throughout semester. Field visits will also form part of this subject.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Ability to identify a range of different urban agriculture production methods and their various risks and benefits in particular settings, drawing on examples from Australia and overseas.
  • You should also be able to discuss the social, economic and environmental role of urban agriculture and its potential contribution to sustainable cities of the future
  • Understand how to grow common and alternative food crops in an open field allotment setting, including experience in working from a plan, plant nutrition, drip irrigation for food crops etc
  • A broad understanding of the historical drivers of urban agriculture and the current trends in countries around the world.
  • A broad understanding of the role of extension and facilitation principles and practices in communicating and promoting technical and social aspects of urban agriculture in a variety of settings eg. Schools, community gardens etc
  • 1000 word technical report due end of week 7 (30%)
  • 10 minute oral test in week 11 (10%)
  • 3000 word report/essay due end of week 12 (60%)

Prescribed Texts:

There is no prescribed text for this subject

Recommended Texts:

There is no single text for this subject, although it is highly recommended that students familiarise themselves with the topics to be covered. The following text provides a useful introduction and is available in its entirety free on-line ( René van Veenhuizen (2006). Cities Farming for the Future - Urban Agriculture for Green and Productive Cities. Published by RUAF Foundation, IDRC and IIRR. A reading list will also be provided on LMS.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Sourcing, interpreting and applying information from written and electronic sources to individual tasks;
  • Use scientific and technical literature to answer specific questions;
  • Time management and the meeting of deadlines;
  • Report on an issue using rigorous and objective analysis;
  • Retrieval, from a range of paper-based and electronic sources, of information required to develop understanding of a topic, and the use of this information, with appropriate recognition, in report writing.
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Urban Horticulture
Master of Urban Horticulture
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bachelor of Environments (Honours) Landscape Management
Master of Science (Ecosystem Science) - Discipline Elective subjects
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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